Bullhead Fishing in South Dakota

Bullhead Fishing in South Dakota
South Dakota provides anglers 1,100 square miles of fishing grounds and year-round fishing for nearly 30 game fish species, including yellow, black and brown bullhead. Small teardrop hooks that are tipped with lures like worms or wigglers are effective in catching bullhead, states the South Dakota Office of Tourism Fishing Guide. Fly fishermen have luck with luring bullhead using small poppers and wet flies. In the state's lakes and prairies region, the South Dakota Office of Tourism recommends angling for bullhead by still-fishing with bait.

Brush Lake

Brush Lake is 2 miles south of Arlington in Brookings County. The 386-acre lake is home to healthy populations of bullhead. Other fish species you may find in the lake include walleye, northern pike and yellow perch. Brush Lake has shore fishing access available along the south and east side of the lake. Additionally, you can access the north end of the lake along Highway 14.

West Highway 81 Lake

Anglers will find larger bullheads in West Highway 81 Lake , says Dave Lucchesi, a South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks fish biologist. The lake is in Kingsbury County across the highway from East Highway 81 Lake. You can fish for yellow bullheads that are up to 16 inches long and some species range up to 3 pounds--a lunker size for bullheads. To add credit to the lake, the state record for yellow bullhead was taken from West Highway 81. Bullhead anglers are allowed to use a small boat, though you will have to launch your water craft by hand, as no boat launch access is available.

Lake Sinai

Lake Sinai is 1 mile west of Sinai in Brookings County. The lake spans 1,719 acres and contains populations of bullhead. Lake Sinai has shore fishing access on its north side. Bullhead anglers can also use the lake's facilities, including a boat ramp, dock, parking area and restrooms. Aside from bullhead, the lake is also home to walleye, yellow perch, northern pike and smallmouth bass.

Wall Lake

Another lake with healthy populations of yellow bullhead is Wall Lake near Sioux Falls. Located in Minnehaha County, the lake is home to 12- to 15-inch size bullheads, according to Game&Fish Magazine. The lake spans 207 acres with a maximum depth of 11.5 feet and a shoreline length of 3 miles. Anglers can take advantage of the lake's boat ramp and the 25-acre Wall Lake Park, a public-use area adjacent to the lake. The park features picnic tables and grills overlooking Wall Lake from a hilltop. Other game fish you may find include northern pike, walleye, white crappie and yellow perch.

James River

James River, a tributary of the Missouri River, is one of the state's major rivers. Located in Brown County, the river provides bullhead anglers plenty of fish to catch, along with other game fish species like smallmouth bass, catfish, perch, crappie, northern pike, sauger and walleye, according to the Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association. Anglers can utilize facilities such as camping sites, restrooms and a boat ramp while visiting James River.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.